The purpose of this paper is to explore the general nature of human multiple information task behavior in Web information seeking and retrieval contexts and identify the factors that influence the processes of prioritizing mul.tiple information tasks.
Experiments were conducted in a laboratory setting to collect data from multiple sources including search logs, think aloud reports during the searches and interviews, questionnaires, and post-search interviews. Quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques were both used.
The findings of this study reveal that effort, time and perception may all be necessary factors in producing good performance in dynamic and complex information situations, but how the author effectively manages the emotions ultimately yields successful performance. High mental effort, even when accompanied by productive time management, is not sufficient to produce high performance unless the author effectively deal with the emotions and feelings in such situations.
A comprehensive understanding of the affective, cognitive, and physical processes underlying the human multiple information task behavior is vital if the author is to design emotionally intelligent information systems that can support people when managing dynamic and complex information situations in hi-tech environments.
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